William Heffernan is an American novelist known for murder-mystery thrillers. He won the 1996 Edgar Allan Poe Award for his novel Tarnished Blue. William Heffernan is a member of the Authors Guild, The Mystery Writers of America, and was once President of the International Association of Crime Writers.
As an investigative reporter for the New York Daily News, Heffernan is a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and winner of several journalism awards.
William Heffernan was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Heffernan started writing when he was in college and cites Henry Miller as one of his biggest influences. Before becoming a novelist, Heffernan spent two years as the Daily News bureau chief at police headquarters in New York City. He was responsible for all the crime news.
He won the Heywood Broun Award twice, received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and several other local, state, and regional honors. Heffernan left journalism in 1978 after receiving his first book contract for the novel Broderick.
His former career as a journalist significantly influenced his professional authorship career.
The inspiration for the debut novel was Johnny Broderick, a legendary and tough New York cop. One of his most popular series, the Dead Detective, was also inspired by a true story.
"The corruption, the internal battles, the raw politics of the department were part of my everyday life throughout those two years, as were the friendships I developed with amazing cops like Sonny Grosso of French Connection fame and forensic wizards like Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden, who later testified for the defense at the O.J. Simpson trial.
It was an amazing time, a time before newsrooms became computerized; where reporters still wrote their stories on manual typewriters and shouted for copyboys to retrieve the copy page by page; a time when the desk drawers of many reporters contained a bottle of strong spirits, and at night those bottles were often openly displayed on the desks.
I later wrote about that era in my novel, Cityside,” the author said in an interview.
Now, William Heffernan is the author of two dozen novels, including the international bestsellers The Corsican, Ritual, Blood Rose, and Corsican Honor. His business suspense The Dinosaur Club was a New York Times bestseller, and the film rights for The Dinosaur Club were sold to Warner Bros in 1997 for $1 million.
William Heffernan lives near St. Petersburg, Florida.